It has been an age-old tradition for the people of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. Before the heavens open up and showers its monsoon blessings, the streets of this historic city would be filled with transgenders, praying and dancing for the rains.
In observance of this ancient ritual, numerous eunuchs recently took to the streets in huge processions throughout the city. Arrayed in colorful clothes, they sang and danced to lilting tunes hoping that their annual sacred custom would bring in abundant rains.
The procession has become a tradition for these eunuchs who believe that their ancestors started these prayers.
"There was a time when it did not rain, we offered prayers and it rained, since then we have started this festival. We started preparation two months ago. People come from far off places. Life is incomplete without water, " said Suresh Nayak, a eunuch community head.
All the eunuchs of the state collect at one place and balance Bhujeria (holy pot) on their heads and then walk across the town. They then leave these 'bhujeria' in a pond.
"We pray to god that there should be adequate rains this year. That is why we take out these 'bhujerias'," said Dolly, a eunuch.
It is believed that many years back when there was no rainfall in Bhopal, the 'Nawabs' of the day requested the eunuchs to dance in order to please Lord Indra.
Since then this custom is religiously followed by the eunuchs who observe this unique festival annually, dancing and praying to god for rains.